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Kanban: Driver's Edition

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Stronghold Games
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$68.89 $58.56

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Number of Players 2-4
Playtime 90-120 Min
Suggested Ages 12+
Designer(s) Vital Lacerda
Publisher Stronghold Games

"Kanban" — or 看板, the Japanese word for billboard — is a term for the visual cues that could be used in a lean, efficient assembly line in order to expedite and smooth workflow. These signals get the workers what they need, where they need it, when they need it to form a just-in-time (JIT) production system.

The setting for Kanban: Automotive Revolution is an assembly line. Players are ambitious managers who are trying to impress the board of directors in order to achieve as high a position as possible in the company and secure their careers. With promotions come advantages at the factory, like more space to store precious materials and greater prestige to accelerate your ascent. Through solid management, you must aim to shine next to your peers. You will need to manage suppliers and supplies, improve automobile parts, innovate — anything to stay on the cutting edge, or getting your hands greasy on the assembly line in order to boost production. You must exercise wisdom in picking which projects you should start, selecting only those that will give you the upper hand and shunning those that will bog you down or cause the unthinkable — failure — which would diminish you in the eyes of the board.

Through the course of the game, you persuade the board and the factory tender to help you develop and improve automobile parts. You will make shrewd use of the outside suppliers and the limited factory supplies in order to appropriate needed part when the suppliers come up short. Because the factory must operate at optimum efficiency, production doesn't wait for you or for mistakes.

Like the process itself, Kanban: Automotive Revolution proves to be both innovative as well as rewarding. Game mechanisms tightly tied to the automobile manufacturing theme such as:

  • The factory manager is a game-driven non-player character with two modes of play ("nice" or "mean") to offer either a friendly or more competitive gameplay environment.
  • Two independent player-influenced game timers — the factory production cycle and work week clock — add timing tension to the game, trigger intermediate scoring phases, and factor into the game end conditions.
  • A design and innovation department, leveraged to manipulate the value of the various car models and component upgrades produced within the factory, drives the game economy.
  • A simulation of the factory assembly line with spatial point-to-point movement provides an element to the game that requires optimal timing.
  • Departmental training and certification tracks gives players a means to operate more efficiently.

If you want a seat on the board someday, you will need to show that you can keep a complex machine running smoothly, efficiently, with everything happening just at the right time. Kanban: Automotive Revolution is a pure Eurogame focused on economics and resource management that puts you in the driver's seat of an entire manufacturing facility, racing for the highest level of promotion.

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